Carrots Galore! Carrot Soup, The Joys of Juicing & Carrot Pulp Spice Bread
My CSA* box over the summer provided me with a HUGE abundance of carrots. In fact, at one point I had so many carrots in my refrigerator that one drawer was basically devoted to them. I should have taken a picture of them so you would believe me!
* A CSA, in case you don’t know, is Consumer Supported agriculture–that means I bought a share into a farm and get a dividend each week in whatever is being produced.
It’s not that I don’t like carrots, because I do–raw ones, not cooked ones. I just never seem to get around to scrubbing them clean and eating them. When I’m on a road trip, I love to snack on them; I have found they’re great for keeping me awake and alert while driving at night. I’ll usually pick up some sweet nantes which I can eat straight out of the bag. If I don’t eat them all, when I get home, they’ll join the others in the drawer.
Two events saved the day, or at least saved my refrigerator space: someone loaned me a juicer and I made carrot soup.
One of the reasons I finally got around to making the soup was because after my husband had lip cancer and plastic reconstructive surgery, he had to drink everything through a straw. It’s almost three weeks later, and he’s still eating soft foods and lots of soups. And carrot juice and carrot products are super cancer fighting foods!
So I boned a chicken carcass, put the carcass on the stove in some water, and started chopping carrots and other CSA vegetables–onions first (four smaller mild red ones) then garlic. I put all the ends and skins in the soup pot and sauteed the finely chopped onion and garlic in butter and olive oil in a giant iron skillet. Then I went for the carrots: as I sliced them, ends went in the soup pot and the slices went into the iron skillet until I could fit little else. I managed to add a half dozen CSA red potatoes cut into small pieces. Then I added a healthy amount of cumin, turmeric, and oregano with a little kosher salt and black pepper.
Then I scavenged my refrigerator, looking for sad, forgotten, limp, unloved vegetables hiding in the corners. The bunch of basil went in the soup pot, the kale stems went in the soup and the chopped greens I reserved for later. A large soft chunk of ginger went into the soup pot. Some soft garlic. You get the picture.
As the vegetables needed liquid to cook, I brought it over a cup at a time from the soup pot. When the vegies were soft and cooked, I strained the soup pot for the broth. Then I put vegies, broth, and about a cup of cream in the blender. It was so good that way that I blended it all–and I look forward to making it again!
But we still had a lot of carrots left. Friends loaned me their blender, and on a Sunday morning, I set it up and my son and I went at it: I prepped the carrots and he juiced them. He loved doing it so much that soon most of the carrots were gone–turned into juice and pulp–and he declared that he wanted a juicer for his 6th birthday present!
It was easy to know what to do with the juice–drink it! But what about the pulp? I hated to just put it in the compost. I went searching on the net and found a few sites with recipes for carrot pulp. It seems that it’s very similar to pumpkin in a recipe. I’m going to try my carrot recipe above using pulp and see how it goes, and I want to see what happens with a pumpkin soup recipe if I substitute carrot pulp for pumpkin.
This following recipe for Carrot Pulp Bread comes from the book Carrot Pulp Cookery; I found the recipe as part of the review of the book on Mother Earth News. I adapted it quite a bit as you’ll see below from my notes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan. Mix together:
2/3 cup of vegetable oil
3/4 cup of honey
* The first time I made this, I used 2/3 C melted butter and 3/4 honey; it was too rich and too sweet, more like a dessert. This time, I used 1/2 C melted butter, 1/2 C honey, 1/4 C unsulphured molasses and it came out it more breadlike.)
Add and beat together:
Add and mix:
1-1 /2 cups of carrot pulp
* Both times I used nearly 2 C pulp, lightly packed.
1-1 /2 cups of whole wheat flour
* I used 1 C whole wheat flour, 1/2 C almond meal, 1/2 C flax meal)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
* I added 1 tsp ginger; you could also use pumpkin pie spice.
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of sea salt (optional)
At the end add-ins: I toasted 1/2 c walnuts and added them along with 3/4 C raisins. You could probably have success with similar proportions of other dried fruits and nuts.
I found the batter stiff: be careful not to overmix (be gentle!). I was concerned that the results would be too dry but instead it was so moist it took nearly 90 minutes to cook the first time and 75 minutes the second time; recommended cooking time is 60-65 minutes at an oven preheated to 350 degrees.
Pour the resulting concoction into a greased (I used butter) loaf pan (measuring approximately 8-1/2″ X 4-1/2″ X 2-5/8″). I sprinkled untoasted walnuts on top.